“Loss of limb” is one of the most serious injuries resulting from an accident in Georgia. Unlike other common accident injuries, losing an arm, leg, or other body part cannot be healed or made whole again. Losing a limb impacts a person’s entire personal and professional life. If you or a loved one is in this position and the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you will need to know about making an injury claim for loss of limbs after an accident in Georgia.
What Types of Accidents Can Lead to Loss of Limb?
A loss of limb, also known as amputation, can happen during an accident or in a medical setting if the amputation must happen to stop the spread of infection. If the limb was lost as a result of an accident someone else caused, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.
Some accidents that may lead to loss of limb include:
- Car, truck, or other auto accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Serious dog bites
- Accidents occurring on someone’s public or private property
- Faulty machinery or equipment
- Medical malpractice cases
A medical amputation may happen after someone is in an accident if the removal may save their life from the accident injuries they suffered. In any situation, if the loss of limb occurred because of another person’s negligence, the victim may be able to make an injury claim against them for their damages.
Negligence and Liability in Georgia Injury Claims for Loss of Limbs
To make an injury claim for loss of limbs, you’ll need to understand Georgia laws around fault and liability. According to Georgia code O.C.G.A. 51-1-6, if someone breaches their legal duty to avoid actions that harm another and it results in injury, the victim can make a claim for recovery of the damages they suffer.
Everyone has a “duty of care” to act in a way that doesn’t harm others. When a person does not uphold this, it’s considered negligence—whether they intended to cause harm or not. So, if you suffer loss of limbs after an accident caused by another person’s actions (or inactions), they are likely liable for your costs and losses (known as damages).
To make an injury claim against the negligent party, you will need to prove that:
- The person was negligent
- Their negligence directly to your accident and loss of limbs
- And your damages are a result of their negligence
You can do this by gathering evidence of the accident, the other person’s negligence, and your total damages.
Common Damages from Loss of Limbs
Loss of limbs or amputation is considered a “catastrophic injury,” which means it permanently impacts a victim’s life. The disability and/or disfigurement from a catastrophic injury is either long-term or lasts for the rest of the injured person’s life. Lifelong treatment or rehabilitation is often required, leaving the victim with a lot of expenses as they try to adapt to a new way of living and working.
Common damages you can claim for loss of limb include:
- All medical costs (current and future)
- Rehabilitation and physical or occupational therapy costs
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, emotional distress, and embarrassment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
- And more
Damages Beyond Medical Bills
Medical costs can make up a huge portion of a loss of limbs injury claim, but the victim is dealing with much more. Losing a limb means having to re-learn common daily tasks, including how to work with the lost body part. Sometimes, the victim’s current job is no longer possible and they have to consider a new line of work or even full disability.
Most victims also suffer from emotional damages like depression or anxiety because of their life changes, memories of the accident, or their new appearance. They are having to adjust to life changes that wouldn’t have happened if someone else hadn’t caused their accident, and that is a lot to bear.
When serious damages like this are involved, it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you build the strongest case possible and take into account everything you are facing from your injuries.
How to Gather Evidence for Your Loss of Limbs Injury Claim
After you find a good lawyer who understands injury claims for loss of limbs, they can help you compile the right evidence for your case. That includes doing the following:
- Reporting your accident to the police, especially if it’s an auto accident.
- Getting medical treatment right away and keeping up with doctor appointments.
- Taking pictures of any changes with your injuries and any physical evidence, such as torn or bloody clothing.
- Keeping track of all medical bills, receipts, and paperwork resulting from your accident and injury.
- Being honest about how your loss of limbs and other injuries have affected you mentally and emotionally (so you can get the help you need).
Your lawyer can also handle communication with the negligent person or party’s insurance company, which is who you’ll be filing your injury claim against.
Insurance companies are always looking for ways to deny or pay out less on a claim, and speaking with them yourself is very risky. They are not afraid to take advantage of your vulnerable and emotional state after your accident. Your lawyer can communicate with them on your behalf and negotiate for a fair settlement if they push back.
Taking Your Injury Claim to Court
If the insurance company will not agree to a fair settlement after you’ve determined liability and the compensation you’re owed, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit and taking the case to court. An injury claim for loss of limbs is usually resolved far before this must happen. But if it does, your lawyer can support you through every step of the process.
Need Help With Your Injury Claim for Loss of Limbs in Georgia?
At John Foy & Associates, we know how incredibly devastating and painful losing limbs can be on an accident victim and their families. Our goal is winning you the full compensation you deserve—so you can begin moving on from the person and accident that injured you. We have been representing injury victims for 20 plus years, and we never work for insurance companies. For a FREE consultation, call us at 404-400-4000 or contact us here today.